Ally & David’s Canadian Rockies Adventure Exploring Banff & Yoho National Parks

Ally & David’s Canadian Rockies Adventure Exploring Banff & Yoho National Parks

Ally and David, traveled from the southern USA to say “I do” in the Canadian Rockies. They had an epic dawn-till-dusk elopement, complete with everything from sunrise to a canoe trip. They even went on a helicopter ride and had their first dance under the Milky Way. This couple shows us, that if you want to do it all on your elopement day, then you 100% can.

Ready to elope somewhere in the Canadian Rockies? We wouldn’t blame you. Check out our Banff elopement guide for more tips.

About This Canadian Rockies Multi-Park Adventure

Photography by Film & Forest

“We watched the sunrise and canoed through Moraine Lake (Banff, Alberta), climbed and got drenched by one of the tallest waterfalls in Canada (Yoho National Park, BC), and took a helicopter to a sunset picnic deep in the backcountry (Golden, BC). To wrap it all up, they did a lantern-lit first dance under the stars and enjoyed the Milky Way.

Ally and David’s choice to elope was rooted in a desire to enjoy the stunning Rocky Mountains and take on a type of experience they’d never had before. Afterward, they described their elopement day as ‘the day of their dreams’ – a perfect adventure elopement, if you ask us!” [Hayley & Andrew, the photographers]

Explore more places to elope.

Planning Your Canadian Rocky Adventure

“The Canadian Rocky Mountains are some of the most magical landscapes in the world, but this is only because they’re so well protected. Following Leave No Trace principles and getting the correct permits are crucial to keeping these mountains so wild and rugged. We’re pretty unique as photographers, also bringing over a decade of wilderness and mountain guiding experience with us – which means we practice Leave No Trace principles to a tee.

Permits are required for almost every park in the Rockies…They’re a very important way to support the organizations that protect our wild places; we’re proud to be licensed and have photographed in almost every park.” [Hayley & Andrew, the photographers]

Learn more about leaving no trace during your elopement.

Top Tips When Planning Here:

“Hire a vendor (photographer, planner, etc.) who knows the area inside out! Someone who’s local, and has as much experience in the outdoors as possible. The Canadian Rockies (like any scenic location around the world) can be incredibly busy with high traffic if you don’t know where to go, but hiring a vendor who can help you plan around this will 100% change how you experience your day!” [Hayley & Andrew, the photographers]

Team up with an elopement vendor today.

Deciding to Elope

“We wanted a wedding day dedicated to focusing on each other, our love story, and the adventure of the day. Traditional weddings often feel like they are planned with everyone else’s wishes in mind. So often, we’ve attended traditional weddings where the bride and groom seem to be pulled in many different directions and are left with little time for each other. We wanted a day filled with intentional moments, allowing ourselves the freedom to be fully present with each other.” [The couple]

Check out these reasons to elope.

Picking Their Elopement Destination From a Pinterest Photo

“The idea to elope in the Canadian Rockies began with a single Pinterest photo of an elopement at Moraine Lake. We absolutely fell in love with the surreal rugged beauty portrayed in that photo. Once we started researching the area, we soon realized that the possibilities for an elopement adventure in the area were endless.

Did we want sweeping views of mountains, waterfalls, wildflowers, forests, glaciers, lakes? Should we hike, helicopter, canoe? We bounced around ideas and settled on a full day of adventure.” [The couple]

Depending on Local Vendors With Expertise

“Once we settled on the things we wanted to incorporate into the day, we were able to start crafting a timeline and securing vendors. Hayley and Andrew at Film and Forest were able to offer suggested timelines and advise us on logistical aspects… It was helpful to have some local contacts to answer questions, as it was challenging to plan an entire elopement from afar.

We also drew upon the expertise of our other vendors. This is where our research from exploring elopement blogs (i.e. Wandering Weddings), photography blogs, and advice from our photographers came in handy. Although we had a clear vision of what we wanted our day to look like, it was so refreshing to leave some of the small details to the professionals.

Yes, we had a vision for the day, but we relied on the knowledge and expertise of our reputable vendors to help breathe life into our dream elopement.” [The Couple]

Incorporating Traditional Elements Into Their Elopement

“Having an adventure elopement also allowed us to incorporate both traditional elements (champagne toast, first dance, celebratory meal) and non-traditional elements (getting ready together, not hiring an officiant) into our wedding.

We chose to include meaningful details throughout the entire day. David loves crazy socks, and we love weekend road trips in David’s little convertible. Ally wore colorful socks with a groom and bride (with a flying veil trailing) riding in a convertible. David wore custom cufflinks engraved with our initials and the coordinates of Moraine Lake (a nod to an earlier gift from Ally, a bracelet with the coordinates from the place where we first met).” [The couple]

Here’s a Glimpse of Their Elopement Itinerary:

  • Hiking at the rock pile at Moraine Lake for sunrise
  • Coffee in their cabin’s balcony at Moraine Lake Lodge. “There is often the misconception that private elopements exclude family. We both have four kids, so we now have a big beautiful blended family of eight children. We spent coffee time reading letters written by each of our kids. It was so special to start our day with well-wishes from our babies. Ally’s engagement ring was custom-designed by David to include four diamonds inlaid in the band on each side of the solitaire (as a tribute to our 8 kids).” [The couple]
  • Canoeing on Moraine Lake
  • Afternoon tea at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise
  • Rock-climbing at Takakkaw Falls
  • Helicopter to an alpine mountaintop for ceremony
  • A second helicopter stop for a mountain picnic and hiking.
  • First dance and stargazing in Banff

Estimated Cost Breakdown

  • Photographer:  ~$5000
  • Hair and makeup: $350CAD plus travel fees ($220CAD to artist, $500CAD for private taxi hire to access Moraine Lake Lodge)
  • Bridal attire: $3500USD
  • Groom attire: $800USD
  • Florals: $350CAD
  • Helicopter charter: $2500CAD
  • Canoeing on Moraine Lake: (complimentary with our stay at the lodge; otherwise, $140CAD/hr)
  • Afternoon tea at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise: ($85CAD/person – the Fairmont gifted us their best bottle of champagne as a wedding present)
  • Picnic prepared by Malcolm Hotel: $65CAD/person

Memorable Moments From This Elopement

From the photographer:

“One of the most touching moments was when they read the letters from each of their kids, and how supportive their children were in Ally & Dave’s choice to elope; also how they were so stoked on them having this special time together. It was so beautiful to see how it touched and connected them.”

From the couple:

“Our most memorable moment was the secluded mountain-top elopement ceremony. After some initial hiccups related to scheduling an officiant, we opted to perform the ceremony ourselves. This ended up being such a blessing, because it’s planning and execution made for the most precious memories. We both delved deep into scripture and researched our favorite Bible verses and romantic readings privately, then we came together and compared notes and designed our entire ceremony together.

We spent the evening before our elopement, cozy in front of the fireplace in our cabin, putting the final touches on our ceremony. We opted to include traditional vows, as well as our own written vows. (Further proof that the regular rules don’t apply when eloping!). As we read our ceremony and our vows, including both serious moments and lighter moments, we both laughed and cried together. It’s a moment we will never forget.”

A Post-Elopement Idea You’ll LOVE

The couple expressed how excited they were to be featured. They relied on resources like our blog when planning their elopement adventure, so they were excited to share their adventure with others!

“We loved having the freedom to make our day look however we wanted. We were only limited by our imaginations. Formal wedding attire plus hiking boots? Tea in an elegant castle combined with rock-climbing beneath a waterfall? A ballgown with a little dirt on it? As a dark-haired social butterfly marrying a very shy redhead, we know that sometimes magic can be found through combining the unexpected!

Post-wedding, we haven’t had the heart to send our attire for stain removal. Every stain tells the story of an amazing day. A dear friend suggested that we wear our wedding clothes on a new adventure each year. We happen to love the idea! So, for the next 50 or so anniversaries, that’s where you can find us, adventuring this ballgown into tatters.” [The couple]

Learn how to elope.

Final Words of Advice From the Photographer

“When it comes to your elopement day it’s easy to get swept up in the beauty and the excitement of the day, but one of the things we like to remind couples of, especially on longer days like this one is to remember to slow down and connect with each other often and be in the moment. Schedule time for pausing, resting, reconnecting (a good photographer or planner will help you do this when timeline planning)!

One fun thing couples can do to really remember their day is make a few notes about special moments each and then share them with each other either the next day or maybe even a month or a year later to bring back all those special memories and to help each other see different aspects of their special day to really amplify the memory/experience.” [Hayley & Andrew, the photographers]


Photography | Film & Forest

Accommodation | Moraine Lake Lodge

Florals | Banff Mountaintop Flowers

Hair & Makeup | Blush & Coco

Helicopter | Whitetooth Heli

Canoe Rental | Moraine Lake Lodge

Brunch | Chateau Fairmont Lake Louise, Fairview Bar & Restaurant

Alpine Picnic Basket Catering | Catered by the Malcolm Hotel

Wedding Dress | Justin Alexander

Elopement Planner/Coordinator | Film & Forest

Photos From This Elopement

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